Five Ways You Can Support Hunger Action Month Locally

Hunger affects every community, and during Hunger Action Month, Community Plates is sharing five ways you can make a difference in your own neighborhood:

  1. Sign-up to become a Community Plates Food Runner.

Millions of meals have been rescued and millions of hungry Americans have been fed because volunteers on their own time and in their own cars are taking on this senseless problem of food insecurity. It’s easy to become a food runner. Sign-up to use our app that will connect you with food rescue opportunities in your city. Don’t see your city? Let us know.

  1. Share a Food Insecurity Fact.

Did you know that there are over 48 million food insecure individuals in the United States, or 1 in 6 Americans, and 1 in 5 American children?

Food insecurity affects so many, and in our backyard. Share a fact with your friends and family to help us build local awareness. Interested in more facts? Check out the Hunger in America’s research.

  1. Thank your local volunteer food runners and food donors.

Gratitude is important to us, it’s one of our core values. Everyday, we’re blown away by the passion and commitment of our volunteer food runners and donors. Help us take the time to thank our volunteers and donors, here are some in your community.

  1. Join the community and follow and tag #CommunityPlates on social media!
  1. Get your favorite market or restaurant to donate instead of waste.

This is easier than you think. Learn more about becoming a Community Plates food donor.

Letter from the Director: Hunger Action Month

When we began four years ago, many people were unaware of the huge number of American’s who struggle to eat every day, let alone healthily. However, that tide is turning. 1 in 6 Americans, and 1 in 5 American children, are food insecure and during September’s Hunger Action Month we all have the opportunity to help tell the story of this country’s hungry. More importantly it gives us a chance to focus on changing this senseless reality for good.

Here are some suggestions on how to get involved in Hunger Action Month:

  • Find out about hunger where you live. What are the hunger numbers in your area? Who’s doing a good job taking care of those people in need? Who are the innovators where you are in tackling this problem head on?
  • Tell someone else about American hunger. I always link to this 4 year old 60 Minutes piece when I can, because I’m still blown away with the story it tells about people just like me, who live in a place much like where I live, who struggle to provide food for their families. I also really like this recent John Oliver piece on Food Waste. If all of us tell a few more people we’ll be that much closer to bringing hunger to an end.
  • Take the “Action” part of Hunger Action Month seriously. Do something to stop this! If you’re a Community Plates food runner, sign up for an extra run and then post the pictures to your social media feeds. If you aren’t a Community Plates food runner, sign up here http://communityplate.wpengine.com/go-rescue/ and you can be rescuing food and feeding people within days. Volunteer in a community food pantry, soup kitchen or shelter. If you need an idea of who’s doing good work, let us know. If each of us do something, we will be that much closer to ending this senseless problem.

Community Plates is a simple solution to ending American hunger and it’s all of you that power what we do. You are our “action!”

Food for all,

Kevin Mullins

Executive Director, Community Plates

Food Runner Profile: Julia Gallagher, New Orleans

On behalf of Hunger Action Month, we are profiling some of the wonderful people who make Community Plates work — our volunteer food runners!


 

Julia Gallagher, New Orleans

IMG_4967Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Currently: Student at Tulane University and Community Plates New Orleans Food Runner

Why did you become a volunteer food runner for Community Plates?

Before I even saw it on the website, when I heard about Community Plates I joined because it just makes sense! I cringe when I contribute to food waste on a personal level, so to think by becoming a food runner I could have an impact on a macro level was amazing. Especially as a student this is the PERFECT volunteer opportunity because you don’t always know what your week is going to look like but you do often have pockets of free time during the day. Also it is an incredible way to be more intimately connected to your community.

 

If you are interested in becoming a food runner for Community Plates, you can sign up to access our Community Plates app and connect with food runs in your area.

Community Plates at The Farm to Table International Symposium (F2T)

Our executive director Kevin Mullins and founder Jeff Schacher will be leading a breakout session, Food Rescue Revolution: Community Plates and the End of Hunger in the United States,  at the upcoming Farm to Table International Symposium in New Orleans on Saturday, August 8, 2015. If you’re on Twitter, follow the action: #f2ti15

“This conference is a perfect fit for our platform since we will be surrounded by food innovators. We’re looking forward to learning how we can become more effective and letting people know about our simple solution to American hunger,” said Kevin Mullins, Community Plates executive director.

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Kevin Mullins

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Jeff Schacher

About F2T

The Farm to Table International Symposium (F2T) features the brightest thought leaders and leading practitioners in the burgeoning farm-to-table movement. F2T explores the cultivation, distribution, and consumption of food and drink sourced locally to globally. Topics include farming and aquaculture, fisheries, sustainability, social and digital interactive media, food security and safety, food law and policy, food science and GMO, artisanal and slow food and drink, and fair trade.

The Symposium takes place in tandem with the Louisiana Restaurant Association’s Annual Foodservice & Hospitality EXPO, an event featuring related exhibits and attracting food and beverage professional from throughout the country.

For more information about the event, visit f2t-int.com.

Connecting Columbus Farmers’ Markets with Community Plates Food Runners

Our Columbus, Ohio site has a terrific new collaboration with vendors from both the Clintonville Farmers’ Market and Worthington Farmers’ Market. A great model for other farmers’ markets across the country. Sign up to become a food runner or donor, today!

Our first Worthington Farmers Market run was a huge success! If you’ve never been there, you are missing out. There is a wide variety of offerings and everyone we talked to was very excited about what Community Plates is doing… all the vendors can bring all donations to the information booth when the market closes. Our first week, which was two weeks ago, we picked up 142 pounds of produce! There was sweet corn, squash, kale, swiss chard, green peppers, tomatoes, basil, peaches and blackberries.

The Clintonville Farmer’s Market is also a great run. Last year we only picked up from Rock Dove Farms, but have expanded that run to many others. Both the Clintonville and Worthington market runs are Sat. at noon. Sign up if you are available!

The North Market still has Friday and Sunday runs available. These are my favorite runs. Sundays we pick up from Hot Chicken Takeover, a few weeks ago we hit the food donation jackpot with 20+ tins! There is a new vendor called The Little Market who will be donating when able. These are bigger runs but still usually will easily fit in your car.

Community Plates Receives Grant from Near and Far Aid

$5000 Award Will Help Food Rescue Organization End Hunger in Fairfield County

Community Plates of Norwalk, CT has received an operational grant of $5,000 from Near & Far Aid. “We are so grateful to Near & Far Aid for funding innovation in the fight against hunger. This $5,000 grant allows us to rescue and deliver 100,000 meals to people in need in Fairfield County” said Tom Hauser, Fairfield County Site Director for Community Plates.

Community Plates is committed to ending American Food Insecurity by directly transferring fresh, usable food that would have otherwise been thrown away from restaurants, markets and other food industry sources, to food insecure families.

Near & Far Aid is dedicated to eliminating the causes and effects of poverty in Fairfield County by finding and funding programs that provide life’s most basic necessities, as well as those that seek to achieve lasting change.

Kevin Mullins, Executive Director of Community Plates is excited about the shared mission between Community Plates and Near & Far Aid saying,

“This is a perfect partnership since Near & Far Aid funds programs focused on eliminating poverty in Fairfield County and we are focused on delivering almost 3,000,000 meals to food insecure people in Fairfield County this year. When people don’t have to scramble for food they are freed up to worry about other things on their hierarchy of needs.”

Madeleine Albright on Food Insecurity, Bangladesh as Model for U.S.?, Technology & Food Insecurity

Our weekly reading list of the people, places, and discussions taking place in food insecurity across the country.


 

Private sector plays role in food security

dr-madeleine-k-albrightFood security is as much a moral and political issue as it is defined by markets and international agreements, and businesses have an important contribution to make by using their know-how to increase efficiency in the global agricultural market, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright said during the keynote address at AgriVision 2015, a conference that facilitates an informed discussion at a strategic level on current and future concerns in the protein food chain. 

Read more on Yahoo Finance

 



Cities Of Service Launches New “Community Tables” Blueprint To Support Municipalities To Provide Summer Meals To Youth In Need
  

The Cities of Service Community Tables blueprint is part of an anti-hunger initiative the ConAgra Foods Foundation will launch later this year to advance communities’ efforts to address hunger in their own backyards. The Community Tables blueprint outlines steps required for success and urges cities to work with citizen volunteers who can provide critical support to schools and community organizations by canvassing and performing outreach, helping to prepare and serve meals, and providing enrichment activities for children — so that more youth benefit from an important resource.

Read the full story on MarketWatch.

 



A Look Inside Boston’s New ‘Expired’ Food Supermarket
 

ht_expired_supermarket_02_mm_150624_16x9_992“At the lower economic rungs particularly, people are forced into bad decisions due to economics because calories are cheap and nutrients are expensive. The foundation of Daily Table was to try to figure out how on earth do we deliver to these one in six Americans an affordable, nutritious diet?” Rauch said. “And the obvious answer was, ‘Well, why don’t we try to utilize some of this excess food which we can get donated that’s perfectly wholesome and healthy?’”

Read the full story on Yahoo News.

 



From famine to food basket: how Bangladesh became a model for reducing hunger
 

bangladeshA recent UN report on global hunger highlights Bangladesh – a onetime food basket case – for having cut chronic hunger by more than half since 2000. 

Four decades ago, the newly formed and desperately poor South Asian nation of Bangladesh saw its already-high levels of extreme poverty and chronic hunger skyrocket with floods, leading to the Bangladesh famine of 1974. 

Read the full story on the Christian Science Monitor.

 


 

Apps and Maps Harnessed to Address Food Insecurity

This is the story of how two different nonprofits are adapting a technology framework to reduce food insecurity. 1Family 1Restaurant (1F1R) in California has created a web-based mobile app to connect restaurants to individual food bank donors to feed insecure families. The other nonprofit, Capital Area Food Bank in D.C., is utilizing data mapping to find hungry families that are in the greater suburban area. According to statistics on the 1F1R site, one in six people in America may feel the impact of food insecurity.

Read the full story on Non Profit Quarterly.

The Test of our Progress

A note from Tom Hauser, Fairfield County Site Director:

We hopefully all had a wonderful Fourth of July and spent some time thinking about all the things that make our country great. It’s also a good time to look beyond our successes and also see our challenges and opportunities … and to think about how we should measure our greatness. The familiar quote from FDR puts our work at Community Plates in this important context:

FDRquote

 

Why Close Your Food Run?

Hello Community Plates!

Next to an actual food run, closing your run in GoRescue, may be the most important thing you can do in your own fight against hunger. “Why?” you ask? Let me share with you a few of the very good reasons this makes sense.

The valuable information you provide allows your fellow runners to assess a run like you do: is my car big enough? How much food did I actually pick up? Do I know exactly where to go? Who do I talk to? How long does it actually take? Etc.

Your numbers help us provide tax credit for donors, help our partners show impact on their communities and their budgets, and by quantifying the amount of food that we transfer we can provide solid measurement of Community Plates’ impact to funders.

Your input helps site directors determine if we are properly addressing the needs of the community and where we can improve. Are we picking up the right type and quality of food? The right quantity? Etc.

Who knew such a seemingly small thing could be such a big deal?

Thanks for all you do!

Melissa Spiesman
National Site Director

Melissa

Community Plates Receives Operational Grant from First County Bank Foundation

For the second year in a row, Community Plates of Norwalk, CT has received a $5,000 operational grant from First County Bank Foundation.

Community Plates is committed to ending American Food Insecurity by directly transferring fresh, usable food that would have otherwise been thrown away from restaurants, markets and other food industry sources, to food insecure families.

Tom Hauser, Fairfield County Site Director for Community Plates, said:

“We are so grateful to First County Bank for funding innovation in the fight against hunger.  The $5,000 grant allows us to rescue and deliver 100,000 meals to people in need in Fairfield County.”

Kevin Mullins, Executive Director of Community Plates, said:

“This is two years in a row we’ve received support from First County Bank Foundation, they are committed to giving back to their community and they have helped us continue to lead the food rescue movement.”